The Full Wiki

Lou Tellegen: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lou Tellegen

Lou Tellegen in 1916
Born Isidore Louis Bernard Edmon van Dommelen
November 26, 1881(1881-11-26)
Sint-Oedenrode, The Netherlands
Died October 29, 1934 (aged 50)
Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Other name(s) Lou-Tellegen
Occupation Actor, director, screenwriter
Years active 1967 – 1983
Spouse(s) Countess Jeanne de Brockere (m. 1903–1905) «start: (1903)–end+1: (1906)»"Marriage: Countess Jeanne de Brockere to Lou Tellegen" Location: (linkback:
Geraldine Farrar (m. 1916–1920) «start: (1916)–end+1: (1921)»"Marriage: Geraldine Farrar to Lou Tellegen" Location: (linkback:
Nina Romano (m. 1923–1928) «start: (1923)–end+1: (1929)»"Marriage: Nina Romano to Lou Tellegen" Location: (linkback:
Eve Casanova (m. 1930–1932) «start: (1930)–end+1: (1933)»"Marriage: Eve Casanova to Lou Tellegen" Location: (linkback:

Lou Tellegen (November 26, 1881 – October 29, 1934) was a Dutch-born silent film and stage actor, director and screenwriter.


Early life

Born Isidore Louis Bernard Edmon van Dommelen, he was the illegitimate child of army lieutenant Isidore Louis Bernard Edmon Tellegen (1836–1902) and Anna Maria van Dommelen.

He left his birth town Sint Oedenrode to make his stage debut in Amsterdam in 1903, and over the next few years built a reputation to the point where he was invited to perform in Paris, eventually co-starring in several roles with Sarah Bernhardt, with whom he was involved romantically. In 1910, he made his motion picture debut alongside Bernhardt in La dame aux camélias, a silent film made in France based on the play by Alexandre Dumas, fils.


In 1910, he and Bernhardt travelled to the United States, where The New York Times first published, and then retracted, the announcement of their impending marriage. (She was 37 years his senior) Back in France, in 1912 they made their second film together, Les Amours de la reine Élisabeth (Queen Elizabeth), and the following year, Adrienne Lecouvreur. The latter is considered a lost film.

In the summer of 1913, Tellegen went to London where he produced and starred in the Oscar Wilde play, The Picture of Dorian Gray. Invited back to the United States, Tellegen worked in theatre and made his first American film in 1915, titled The Explorer, followed by The Unknown, both with Dorothy Davenport as his co-star. Considered one of the best-looking actors on screen, he followed up with three straight films starring opposite Geraldine Farrar. In 1916, he married Farrar, a well-known opera diva turned film actress, who was herself known to be the lover of Germany's Crown Prince Wilhelm of Germany.

Tellegen's marriage to Farrar did not last (they divorced in 1923). Tellegen had married a total of four times, the first being a countess in 1905 (this union produced a daughter), the second to Farrar in 1916. He became an American citizen in 1918.[1]

Later career and death

Tellegen had appeared in numerous films before his face was damaged in a fire. One of his memorable roles was as the bad guy villain in John Ford's 1926 western 3 Bad Men who wore a white hat instead of the stereotypical bad guy black hat. Fame faded, employment was not forthcoming and debt-ridden, he went bankrupt. He was diagnosed with cancer, though this information was kept from him, and he became despondent.

On October 29, 1934, while a guest in a Cudahy mansion at 1844 N. Vine St. (the Vine Franklin underpass of the now Hollywood freeway covers the site), Tellegen locked himself in the bathroom, then shaved and powdered his face. Then while standing in front of a full-length mirror, he committed suicide by stabbing himself with a pair of sewing scissors seven times (supposedly while surrounded by newspaper clippings of his career), resulting in lurid press coverage.[2][3]

When asked to comment on Tellegen's death, former wife Geraldine Farrar replied, "Why should that interest me?". Tellegen remains were cremated and scattered at sea.[3]


Year Film Role Notes
1911 La Dame aux camélias Armand Duval
1912 Les Amours de la reine Élisabeth Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex Alternative titles: Queen Elizabeth and La Reine Élisabeth
1913 Adrienne Lecouvreur Alternative title: An Actress's Romance
1915 The Explorer Alec McKenzie Credited as Lou-Tellegen
The Unknown Richard Farquhar
1916 The Victory of Conscience Louis, Count De Tavannes
The Victoria Cross Major Ralph Seton
1917 The Black Wolf The Black Wolf
The Long Trail Andre Dubois
What Money Can't Buy
1918 The Things We Love
1919 The World and Its Woman Prince Michael Orbeliana Alternative title: The Golden Song
Flame of the Desert Sheik Essad
1920 The Woman and the Puppet Don Mateo
Blind Youth
1924 Let Not Man Put Asunder Dick Lechmere
Between Friends David Drene
Single Wives Martin Prayle
The Breath of Scandal Charles Hale
Those Who Judge John Dawson
Greater Than Marriage John Masters
1925 The Redeeming Sin Lupin
Fair Play Bruce Elliot Alternative title: The Danger Zone
The Verdict Victor Ronsard
Parisian Nights Jean
After Business Hours John King
The Sporting Chance Darrell Thorton
Parisian Love Pierre Marcel
With This Ring Rufus Van Buren
East Lynne Sir Frncis Levisn
Borrowed Finery Harlan
1926 The Outsider Anton Ragatzy
Siberia Egor Kaplan
The Silver Treasure Sotillo, the Bandit
3 Bad Men Sheriff Layne Hunter
Womanpower The Broker
1927 Stage Madness Pieerre Doumier
The Princess from Hoboken Prince Anton Balakrieff
The Little Firebrand Harley Norcross
Married Alive James Duxbury
1928 No Other Woman
1930 To oneiron tou glyptou Writer, director
Alternative title: Pygmalion kai Galateia
1931 Enemies of the Law Eddie Swan
1934 Caravane Uncredited
1935 Together We Live Bischofsky


  1. ^ "Lou-Tellegen Now a Citizen". The New York Times. 1918-03-13. p. 9.  
  2. ^ Mankiewicz, Joseph L. (2008). Joseph L. Mankiewicz: Interviews. University Press of Mississippi. pp. 61. ISBN 1-934-11024-8.  
  3. ^ a b "Metropolitan Announcer". Time. 1934-11-12.,9171,748091-2,00.html. Retrieved 2008-03-30.  


  • The Divine Sarah, by Arthur Gold & Robert Fizdale, Vintage Books, 1991. ISBN 0-679-74185-2

External links



Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address